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pre-purchase inspection

Benefits of Home Inspection Apps to Homeowners

by Chris Lang on October 31, 2015
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Home Inspection is one of the most important steps that you need to take in order to make sure that wise decisions are made when purchasing property. It provides you with a more detailed view of the place you’re eyeing, saving you more money, time, and effort. Home inspection is also a must for homeowners […]

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House-hunting expenses and how to minimise them (part 2)

by Chris Lang on December 14, 2012
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Expense: Property reports. There are many reports available: recent house sale prices per area, house history, information about suburbs, etc. Once you’ve decided on a house, you may want to check how many times it was sold in the past, when and for how much.

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How to find a great house for a good price by asking the right questions (part 2)

by Chris Lang on October 20, 2012
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In my previous article for first home buyers I started this list of questions – and reasons to ask them, to make sure you are buying a great house for a good price. As I promised, this is the rest of them: Questions about the house: Ask: What is the size of the block? Why: […]

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How to find a great house for a good price by asking the right questions (part 1)

by Chris Lang on October 18, 2012
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Many guides and articles will tell you what questions to ask when you are buying a house. None of them explain WHY you need to ask those questions – and many reasons are not obvious. So here is a list of questions you should ask before buying a house – and the reasons why you […]

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Final inspection checklist

by Chris Lang on November 26, 2010
Final inspection checklist

You’ve bought a house. Congratulations! The contract’s been signed, the finance is in order, the settlement date is approaching, and your conveyancers are on it. Wait up, no sleeping on your laurels yet! What about the final inspection? What final inspection? Your estate agent may have forgotten to mention this to you. As a purchaser, […]

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De-cluttering your house quickly to make it look bigger and better

by Chris Lang on January 4, 2010
De-cluttering your house quickly to make it look bigger and better

Cluttered house If you still haven’t sold your house, then it means that you’ll need to try harder :)

As promised, this post is about making your house look bigger and better through de-cluttering. With all the tons of “useful” Christmas presents you just got, this post can give you some breathing space.

– Who else hates a cluttered house?
– I do! I do!
– So why don’t you do something about it?
– Because… I don’t know where to start.

So here are a couple of ideas.

Before we begin, this is not your regular tutorial on de-cluttering the whole house – it would take a lot of time and would not serve the purpose of selling your house faster and for a better price. This post is about “cosmetic” de-cluttering, meaning you deal with visible areas only. Anything that you can hide and lock stays put.

Let’s begin with surfaces in your house, because they seem to attract clutter like a magnet. Usually these are kitchen tables, kitchen benches, coffee tables, desks, book shelves, etc. Believe it or not, simple clearing of these surfaces will make your home look and feel bigger and nicer.

What works? Get a big cardboard box. Approach each surface. Dump everything in the box. Wipe the dust and smile, because it looks SO much better already. Now what do you do with this box full of, ahem, stuff? Put the family photos and any of the stuff you’re proud to display back. The rest – I am confident you will find a place for it. Just in case you were running out of ideas, think about donating things, selling them on eBay, giving them to friends or tossing them out.

Now let’s proceed to kids’ stuff. When people come to inspection and walk into your little one’s room, a pile of soft toys looks very cute – it won’t look as cute in your living room, and the same goes for the rest of the toys. Get some plastic or cardboard boxes that you can store under the child’s bed, put the artwork, pens and pencils in one box, toys in another, books in the third box.

The bedroom. If you have a night stand, hide all the medicines, the remote, everything that looks messy, in its drawers. Leave the night light and a couple of books, if you’re a reader. If there is no room in the nightstand, get an under-bed box.

The study. If you’re a creative-mess person, this will inconvenience you – but remember, it’s all for a good cause. Let’s begin with your desk – pencil-holders are essential, all the papers need to be put in neat piles, and while you’re at it – get some light drawers to sort the bills, the invoices, the mail once and for all. As a rule of thumb, free up 70% of your desk surface to make it look good. Tie all the wires hanging down from your PC together, use a braided sleeve or a Velcro fastener; they will look much tidier this way. Put all the CDs and DVDs in one place – even a plastic box will do.

Are you still here? The clutter is not going to sort it self out :)

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7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 2

by Chris Lang on May 14, 2009
7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 2

Real Estate ladySelling your house is a labor intensive process and as such needs to be shortened as much as possible. In my previous post I wrote about 3 things you can do to help your real estate agent sell your house faster and here are 4 more things that can help speed up the selling.

4. Clean spotless.

Funny as it sounds, you can have a great house, expensive furniture, a lovely garden and nobody will remember any of that – if it was messy, people will remember the mess. If your home looks tidy, cared for, loved – that picture will stick in the minds of your buyers. It needs to be shiny, sparkling, and spotless.

5. Don’t be at home when people are coming to inspection.

Think back when you were looking to buy a house and remember that inspection when you came and the vendors were home. Remember how awkward it felt to be going through someone’s house while they are there? Inspection is the only time people can get a feeling of “what it would be like to live in this house” – which is a bit hard to achieve when they are not alone. They won’t feel free to look around, to open doors and look into the rooms, they will have this one urge to get a quick look and run away – the opposite of what you want.

6. Don’t limit inspections to weekends.

If you can – and think about how you can before you say “I can’t” – offer inspections on working days, not just weekends. It will maximize your chances of finding the right buyer because a lot of investors have the freedom of inspecting during the week. Or on contrary some buyers are working weekends and can’t make it to your inspection in Saturday. Speak to your agent and let him or her know what days other than Saturday / Sunday you are available to let people come to inspection.

7. Offer your building and pest reports.

If you have a clean and recent pest inspection or building inspection report – let the agent know, so that he could offer them to prospective buyers. It will save those people over $600 and will make them more inclined to buy your place rather than another one they don’t know anything about. It will also make you look good and create a certain degree of trust between you, which can make the sale easier.

Do you have anything to add to this list? What worked for you when you sold the house? What did the tricks? Leave a comment on this post, let us all learn from your experience.

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Inspection checklist #2 for home buyers

by Chris Lang on March 22, 2009
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If a house has passed your first inspection and created a good (or at least neutral) first impression, it could mean that after a while you will short-list it as one of the final candidates, or even “the one”. And because buying a house is such a huge decision, you will need to inspect it again.

The purpose of the second inspection is to notice all the major advantages and disadvantages of the property, including things that will inevitably cost you money to add, fix or replace. There is a difference between “want to fix” and “must fix”. For example, if you’re buying a house with an old rotting fence and it falls over, you will have to replace it, so this is a “must fix” situation. On the other hand, if you’ve bought a house with an old dishwasher that you don’t like, you might want to replace it, but while it works you don’t have to.

When calculating a price you will offer on a house, you should consider all the things, replacement / addition of which will cost you money immediately after you move, because that literally means that the house costs you that much more.

There are things you can’t see or feel (like the size of the land) and will have to ask the vendor or the estate agent – don’t be afraid to disturb them, call and ask because you need to find out.

The things you need to pay attention to include:

General information about the house and the land

  • Land Size
  • Land Shape
  • Ceiling height
  • Type of hot water system installed
  • Is there a rain water tank or a watering system
  • House-related

  • The condition of the inner and the outer walls, whether they insulated or not
  • Gutters – new/old, in good/poor condition
  • Roof

  • What kind of tiles (terracotta/concrete/metal), insulated or not
  • Condition – good/poor
  • Heating/Cooling

  • Whether installed, what kind(ducted/gas heating, evaporative cooling/air conditioning), in what rooms
  • Windows

  • The condition of window glass and frames, of the fly mesh and the curtains
  • Doors

  • The condition of the doors and door frames, wire doors and fly mesh
  • Floors

  • The type of floor coverings (boards, carpets, laminate) and the condition – good/poor
  • Bathrooms

  • The condition of taps, bath tubs, sinks, shower screens, toilet bowls
  • Kitchen

  • What kind of appliances are there (and are being sold with the house), what sort of the benchtop is there
  • Outside

  • The condition of fences and retaining walls – good/poor

Happy house hunting!

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Inspection checklist #1 for home buyers

by Chris Lang on March 18, 2009
Inspection checklist #1 for home buyers

If you’re anything like me, you will inspect properties you are seriously considering more than once, and for a very god reason. First inspection can give you just one thing: a first impression. First impression is usually a very strong one and in most cases I had one of the following 3 feelings: 1. Good […]

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How to buy a house – Part 4

by Chris Lang on October 7, 2008
How to buy a house - Part 4

So once you’ve searched the property listings and chosen houses that look suitable to you, it’s time for action – start calling the estate agents to find out the details about those houses, go and inspect them. Don’t worry about having too many on your list – some will get filtered away by inspection, some might be under contract, some vendors won’t like your offer. It’s important to not “lock on” just one house because once you get emotional – you will be in a weaker negotiating position.

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Pre-purchase inspection: things that go wrong and how to get it right

by Chris Lang on July 10, 2008
Pre-purchase inspection: things that go wrong and how to get it right

I recently had two building and pest inspections done by two different companies. The price was almost the same – but the difference in quality of service was amazing.

The first company responded to my booking promptly and arranged for the inspection to be carried out on the next day. I was promised that in case they find termites I will get a call immediately. Of course I was hoping that they wouldn’t because I really had my heart set on that property, but guess what – they did. Their inspector called me and let me know that there were signed of infestation and that the report will have the details.

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